Rub the chicken thighs with salt, pepper, and half of the garlic.
In a large dutch oven heat half of the oil. Add the chicken and cook over medium high heat for about five minutes on each side, or until slightly browned. Remove chicken from the pot.
Add the remaining oil to the pot and begin to saute the onion, pepper, celery, and ham over low heat. Once the onion is soft add the garlic and half the cilantro. Cook for about 10 minutes.
Add tomatoes, tomato paste, water or stock, and seasonings. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until bubbling.
Add chicken, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until chicken is tender.
Add rice, peas, and remaining cilantro. Make sure there is plenty of liquid. You want this to be a bit soupy. Stir well, bring to a boil again, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the rice is done.